Thirty-strong Commission holds first meeting

The first meeting of the enlarged Commission with the ten new commissioners has debated facts and fears over free movement of labour.

The Commission of the enlarged EU-25 held its first unofficial meeting on 16 March with the participation of the ten new commissioners who will be joining the Commission from 1 May until 31 October.

The debate centred around the restrictions to free movement of labour from the new Member States introduced by a majority of the EU-15. Commissioners from the ten new countries called for policies based on facts rather than "unfounded fears" and expressed the hope that the EU can "avoid dramatising the situation". According to a Commission spokesman, President Romano Prodi will raise the issue at the upcoming EU Summit on 25-26 March.

The ten new commissioners will go through hearings before the European Parliament 13-15 April. The first official meeting of the enlarged Commission is expected to take place in early May during the Parliament's session in Strasbourg.

The Commission on 16 March also announced the launch of versions of the Europa internet server in the nine new languages.


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